We'll probably walk past a hundred Christmas trees this season and never know the full story behind each ornament.  The ones that have been hand-made by a relative can probably tell an important story if we take the time to ask.

Everyone seems to be chiming in with Christmas tree pictures right now on social media, and they all look great, but great in different ways.

Design Pics, ThinkStock

Some of the most gorgeous trees look like they are straight out of a magazine, and they have ornaments that are color-coordinated, uniform, and evenly-spaced.  Not one of them looks out of place. These decorators either have loads of time and skills to their advantage, or they had Joanna Gaines come to the house to decorate for them.  I'm so impressed.

And then there are trees like mine, that are a hodge-podge of mismatched ornaments that have survived another season of storage and are on the tree simply because they didn't break on the way to their 6-week destination on an artificial branch.

Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
Jen Austin - Townsquare Media

I've got ornaments on there that the kids made in pre-school and the glue is barely holding them together, but I can't throw them away.  And there are clear bulbs on the tree with locks of the dogs' fur inside because the groomer saved the hair and presented me with ornaments one year.  It's dog hair that's three or five years old, but I don't care. It makes my tree meaningful.  And odd.

And then there is the angel that my grandmother made in her eighties while she was living in the nursing home.  That is the most special ornament on the entire tree.  It's got a gold styrofoam ball for a head and pearly yarn for a body, and the nursing home staff helped her tie on a gold bow that makes the angel's wings.  She couldn't see all that well and her hands moved slowly, but dang it, Grandma Simona managed to make the most perfect angel of all time.  She put the angel together at the nursing home craft table during the Christmas 1999 season, and she died in March of 2000.  It's one of the last memories I have of my hilarious, happy, and crafty grandma, and it will always be on my tree.

However you handle your tree, you will win Christmas if it's special to you.  That's what matters.  But if it looks like something is missing, try adding a homemade angel with a styrofoam ball for a head or a clear bulb with dog hair inside, and your tree will never be the same.

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